Dutch Reformed Church to report on gay debate

A long-awaited report by a Dutch Reformed Church task team on homosexuality and gay relationships is ready for publication, the Kerkbode reported on Tuesday.

The task team met in Pretoria to finish the report, the church publication said.

“The report will be sent out with the agenda of the general session of the synod to all delegates, whereafter it will be in the public for all to read,” Dr Ben du Toit, the convener of the general commission of libertarian and topical affairs, was quoted as saying.

Du Toit did not want to elaborate on the content of the report, but indicated that the general synod would decide on the matter in June.

According to the Kerkbode, part of the report is based on consensus, but there are various recommendations on which the general synod will have to decide.

“There are two trends of thought within the Dutch Reformed Church on gays,” the Kerkbode report reads.

One group wants the synod to take a uniform and clear point of view on homosexuality. “If the general synod decides that gay relationships are a sin, the church would probably have to take steps against gay members already in gay relationships.”

There are also candidates for the ministry within the church who will lose their candidate status if the general synod decides this way.

The other group is of the opinion that the matter should be left to the discretion of local church councils to manage. This group feels there is such a huge difference in opinion on the gay issue that church councils must rather handle it “within their own context” at local level.—Sapa

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